Before Big Bang
Ian R Thorpe.
Part 1: The Cosmic Mouse Turd. One of the reasons why supporters of logic and reason have not managed to rout creationists and others who cling to the arguments based on ancient myths and religious teachings is the theory most often cited to account for the beginnings of the Universe is full of holes and in many ways so unscientific it is actually unsupportable. The point the scientific community are missing is: why does there have to be a beginning. Those of us who have studied how the ancient myths work and the way in which they relate historical information will know the creation stories of the Greek, Assyrian, Hindu, Persian and Celtic cultures in referring to "the beginning" are actually talking about the beginning of knowledge.
Did anything exist before The Big Bang? The problem science has with a pre big-bang Universe is that according to the equations of the theorists, a Universe could not have existed before such an event as it is the beginning of all things. Thus we find big-bang science getting close to religious creationism in that it proposes an absolute starting point. This is where a poet and fiction writer has an advantage over scientists. Our minds can wander into the regions beyond time and space and consider that which is 'unscientific' i.e. more or less everything. The most popular of the beginning of time theories proposes that before the big bang, which was actually more of a shwoooom than a BANG!!!, the whole universe was compressed into a pellet of matter the size of a mouse turd. More serious science writers do not use the mouse turd analogy of course, they are more inclined to say a pellet of matter the size of a grain of sand or salt or in some extreme cases into something the size of a single atom. Now that is just silly, the entire universe, consisting of an estimated hundred billion galaxies each with up to a hundred billion solar systems according to Compton's Online Encyclopaedia, could not possibly be squeezed so small an object. A mouse turd is much more realistic, not that reality has a lot to do with the ravings of theoretical physicists. Sharper minded realists among you will have already asked the question, "but what was in all the space outside the mouse turd?" Many scientists try to evade this question. Press them though and they will patiently, as if talking to a dull witted child, try to explain that there was nothing outside. The mouse turd was everything. Space was compressed into it along with thought, farts, all the solid stuff and gas and dust, water, cheese, potatoes, piss stained mattresses, cars, Daniel O' Donnell records, scientists and everything. Time was in there as well, all collapsed and bundled up. There was nothing scientific outside the mouse turd. It's easy, your scientist friend will tell you, for those who are not scientists and have not had a scientific education to confuse nothingness with
scientific space. The problem here is there are two things the human mind has a lot of difficulty understanding but that must be understood if we are to understand the nature of the universe. They are infinity which means without end, and nothing which means nada, zilch, not a sausage. Supporters of Big Bang will tell you that there was nothing outside the primordial cosmic mouse turd because (a) science is mostly mathematics based and needs somewhere to start from and (b) while nothing is hard to understand, infinity is an absolute bugger. Because science needs to draw lines round theings and set boundaries, the outer limits of the universe are said to be as far away from Big Bang as light has travelled in about 13 billion Earth years. To define the universe so is a cop out, a total artifice. What if someone had surfed that shock wave emanating from Big Bang and was now at the very edge of the (scientific) universe. Would there be a wall with a gate in it and a sign that reads: “WARNING: End of the Universe, beyond likes infinity. Proceed at your own risk.” The universe just carries on and on and on … and on … The surfer would of course be able to surf on for ten times the distance he had surfed since Big Bang and then ten times further again that the distance he had covered. That's the problem with infinity you see, it has no start and no finish, it is just, you know, infinite. The universe is everything. It goes as far as it goes, we can already measure distances beyond imagining and as more and more technically advanced radio telescopes are developed we keep being able to see further and further into deep space although really we are only seeing light arriving here from deep space. Nothing is equally hard. Oliver Twist might ask can he have more soup and a kinder person that the guy in the story might say, “Sorry Oliver lad, there's nothing left. But there isn't nothing, there's a table with an empty pan, some dirty plates, a few crumbs of bread, spoons and things. When we talk about there being 'nothing there', there is usually air which is made out of all sorts of things.
So to say there is nothing outside the universe is a cop out, the universe is everything and it goes on for ever.
There's More To Space Than Empty Space Space is nothing isn't it? You might well ask. Nothing is space. So where was all that nothing. After all no matter how complex the advanced mathematics of the theoretical physicists, if you take away nothing from nothing you sill have nothing. Space. But not scientific space. Space is fascinating, there is actually more space in stuff that there is stuff. Everything is made of atoms which consist of a very tiny nucleus of solid matter around which a number of electrons, also tiny particles of matter, are orbiting. That is all atoms are, except for a lot of energy; some people say matter is just highly compressed energy. Atoms, it seems, like those desperate wannabes who turn up on TV talent shows, have an inexhaustible supply of energy. Between the nucleus and the electrons is space but not space we can move through. This article is not about the workings of atoms so readers wanting to know more will find links to progressive science websites in the reading list appended. It is only important that readers of this article understand everything in the universe is made of atoms. Energy cannot be created or destroyed. It could not have popped into existence when the cosmic mouse turd exploded nor could it ever disappear when the universe comes to an end. This is where the grain of salt / sand theory and with it the big bang starts to collapse. How does all that everything come into being. Maybe The Great Creator said "piff,paff,poof," and pulled it all out of a top hat, or perhaps the great scientist had packed the cosmic mouse turd with magic space dust that when mixed with hydrogen replicates itself as soon as the scientific incantation 'hocus pocus, fishbones choke us,' is uttered. The real problem with all the big bang theories is that they are too obviously a device dreamed up by scientists because theoretical physics is based on mathematics and
mathematics needs a common starting point; zero. You can go up or down from zero but not sideways and to understand pre big bang, or pre time I should perhaps say we need to go sideways from zero. There is no more evidence for the big bang, big shwooom or whatever than there is for the ancient creation myths. My favourite of these is the one where Manu, the first man makes a fuck buddy for himself out of yogurt. It makes as much sense as Big Bang theory … none at all. Onwards and sideways. Why do we need to go sideways? You might well ask. A trip to Andromeda Consider how we measure our universe. The two criteria are distance through space and time, which curiously, rather arrogantly, we measure by the rotating of our insignificant little blue planet as it orbits its insignificant little star in a remote corner of the milky way. The main star of the Andromeda constellation, one of the stars of celestial navigation, is a hundred light years from earth, the distance covered in 100 years by light travelling at 186,000 miles per second. The numbers are too mind boggling to mean anything to us. Time too ceases to mean anything. So does time really exist? According to the theoreticians the only place in the universe time does not exist in the centre of a black hole. There nothing at all can exist, time disappears. This is called a singularity. In order to understand a singularity we need to experience one. When younger I experienced several, usually on the way home from the pub of a Friday night. When looking at Andromeda we see light emitted by those stars when Teddy Roosevelt was President of the U.S.A, King Edward VII reigned in Britain and Kaiser Wilhelm II was steering Germany towards World War I. Even a hundred Earth years later there are very few people alive who remember those characters. To have even the vaguest personal memories of any, one would have to be at least a hundred and ten years old. Andromeda is a near neighbour in the cosmos. The most distant stars, the light
emitted by whole galaxies so distant they appear to our most powerful telescopes as mere pinpoints, are estimated to be over 10 billion light years away. Our planet did not even exist when that light began its journey, There is no way we can be sure how far away the object we are seeing actually is, nor if what we are seeing is indeed an object. Time and space are artifices created by humans and are meaningless outside our solar system. We are only just beginning to be able to contemplate travelling to planets beyond our immediate neighbours. How do we know the distant galaxies are over ten billion years old? We don't, its another guess.
A spaceship capable of travelling at the speed of light would and launched at the beginning of the art deco era woul be nearing Andromeda now. Light travels at 300,000 Km per second. Our fastest spaceship can manage about 15Km per second (Art deco spaceship pictured above)
The Redshift Conundrum The age of stars is estimated by what astrophysicists call redshift. Visible light is a form of electromagnetic energy and governed by the same natural laws. Red shift means that as the light-frequency energy from a star travels through space its wavelength increases, moving the visible light towards the less energised red end of the spectrum. Redshift is the basis of another cosmic theory, that the galaxies move away from each other at the speed of light. By measuring the redshift, astrophysicists estimate the
distance we are from stars and thus estimate the age of stars. If the galaxies are indeed moving apart and the most distant ones detected by the Hubble telescope is indicated by its redshift measurement to be ten billion years old, then they could not have been where they appear to be ten billion years ago unless they are not part of the universe created by Big Bang. Do those scientific measurements mean anything? Think about the comparatively short journey from Andromeda. We simply do not know what has happened to the light on its way to us. Has it been reflected off dust clouds, distorted as it passed through different gases or even water vapour? We just do not know though we can make some educated guesses over distances of one hundred light years. Ten billion light years is a very different matter. The energy we are seeing could have been emitted by something completely outside our experience. A cosmic mouse farting for example.
Part 2 - Exploring Time Beyond Hawking Nothing that was said in Part 1 of this article precludes the possibility of there having been some kind of cosmic event that began our time / space continuum (I love that phrase, it's so Doctor Who-ish,) It is quite feasible, even likely that the matter now expanded into our galaxy or even a cluster of galaxies was compressed into a unit the size of a small planet that existed at the bottom of a black hole. This depends on how we define what it is to exist. Science holds only that which is within time exists, but science by its nature requires this view. This concept of time comes from guesses and assumptions about the nature of "the beginning." Scientists measure the Universe in terms of the shock wave travelling outwards from the big bang (i.e. The universe is the bubble of reality within the shock wave that has been travelling outwards at 300, 000 km per second since the
alleged Big Bang) and space as that area contained within an imaginary sphere surrounded by that shock wave. So going back to the mouse turd, what the scientists are saying is only that which is within time and space, inside the imaginary bubble in other words, exists. They tell us to think outside the box and yet themselves are not capable of thinking outside the bubble. Were we able to surf that shock wave still spreading outwards from the big bang, in front of us would be an infinite ocean of nothingness occasionally punctuated by who knows what. What is suggested next though is quite scary if you think about it too deeply. Imagine that truly infinite universe in which time and space have no meaning. Eternity, time without beginning or end; infinity, an endless void; and somewhere in all that, in a bubble of space and time, a small planet orbiting a small star. Us. Infinity and eternity are so big it is impossible to get the human mind round them, hardly surprising then that some people cling to the idea of a supernatural being looking after it all.<P> Consider our perception of the nature of time and it is clearly very subjective. Sometimes time rushes past, others it seems to stand still. If you don't believe me try watching a dodgy episode of Columbo after being trapped in a hospital bed for a few weeks. I have, and every second of the show lasts for several years. Is it any wonder scientists cling to their theories as a zealot would to religious certanties? We really have three distinct types of time, scientific time which Stephen Hawking wrote about in his book A Brief History Of Time. Scientific time, the imaginary time that the Big Bang theorists rely on and without which all Einstein's theories and most modern science falls apart, Calendar time, the type we use for knowing when its our birthday etc. ; and personal time, that great variable that flows like tar if we are doing something we have to do when we'd rather be doing something else, but is gone as quickly as lightning when we are having fun. An interesting idea about how we may experience eternal life is based on our experience of dreams coupled with perceptions of time.
Close to death the organs fail and the senses shut down, this is the end of consciousness. Researchers are sure that brain activity continues for several seconds, but as in dreams we do not have those sensual references that make us aware of the passing of time. A dream experience may be remembered as having lasted for hours or days but in reality is over in seconds. Dreams are experienced in a state in which though senses are shut down, we are still breathing and have a pulse. That mysterious natural clock which wakes up at a required time when something important must be done and we forgot to set the alarm is still functioning and the emergency systems that have saved so many people by somehow cutting through sleep to warn of danger are still present. What may happen in those few dying seconds when all the reference points are gone? I've been close enough to know its a very weird but in no way frightening experience. And for the record, there was no white clad figure at the end of a long corridor, no loved one from my past to tell me to return as it was not my time and, the biggest disappointment, Elvis didn't show either. I vaguely remember some very weird experiences that could not have happened in reality though. Is this how Eastern mystics experience Nirvana, oneness with all things, do they somehow cut themselves off from all sensual references to that time temporarily ceases for them? Time used for administrative purposes then is measured by the mechanics of the solar system, our real experience of it is more subjective. What may is going on beyond our beyond our solar system where our measures are meaningless? How can we hope to make sense of our observations of what we assume to be distant galaxies by applying mathematics meaningful only in our solar system. If the truth is out there then that truth includes a realisation that time as we know it has no meaning. Without time does anything have meaning. One of my favourite philosophical quotations is from Immanuel Kant: "objects that exist in the world are real, but the human mind is needed to give them order and form and to see the relationships between them. Only the mind can
surround them with space and time." That is a very insightful statement for somebody who died in 1804, before modern physics had started to unravel the mysteries of The Universe. It also puts into perspective the cod philosophy of modern writers who have suggested that nothing is real and we all live in a world of our own creation. If you ever meet anybody who believes you are a figment of their imagination, hit them in the face with a shovel. At least they will know the shovel is real. Where are we? Oh yes, floating on a fragment of a cosmic mouse turd in infinite, timeless space. The question is: what goes on in that space if we leap beyond the boundary of our scientific universe. Were there other universes that as ours expands are collapsing to make room for it? Are there even now younger, more aggressively energetic Universes closing in on us, eager to push us back into a tiny pellet of matter and occupy our space for themselves? Are there an infinite number of overlapping universes existing in their own dimensions and not interfering with each other. The winners of last year's Nobel Prize for Physics, for their work on giantmagneto resistance, the technology that enables hundreds of gigabytes storage capacities on hard drives that ten years ago would only hold tens of megabytes might suggest the latter is feasible, if it works on your hard drive why not on a cosmic scale? Some people have taken this to suggest there are multiple universes all occupying the same space, if it is in fact space they occupy. Was our Big Bang the latest stage in an endless cycle of similar expansions and contractions? Is the recorded " background radiation" alleged to be echoes of the big bang really just a trick of infinity and eternity, the radiation given off by stars in an earlier Universe and echoing forever around infinite space perhaps? The answers to all these and millions more questions is, "We don't know," which is the same answer as an honest scientist would give to the question, "Was there really a Big Bang, a cosmic event that signalled the beginning of everything or was it just a regular bang, part of an endless cycle of bangs?" The line the scientists take is that time and space began with the Big Bang and
nothing can exist outside time and space. As I have tried to show through Immanuel Kant's words and some of my own tongue in cheek analysis, time and space are not part of reality but tools used by the human mind to measure our relationships with the things within a reality we have hardly begun to understand. So before big bang, in that endless timeless space outside the mouse turd, things were going on, probably very similar things to those going on in our universe now. The things that happen in our Universe only happen because there are humans to measure them. That other things happened or are happening or will happen outside our experience of time and space does not mean those things does not alter their reality, what's missing is the human mind to surround them with time and space. There is nothing to interpret them. What we learn from all this is the place we humans occupy in the great scheme of things is not nearly as important as we like to think. It is totally insignificant in fact. This deconstruction of Big Bang should not be taken as proof of any other theory about the beginning of everything, especially not those favoured by fringe religions. Unless God is a mouse turd of course.
Further Reading. Big Bang Theory - Conventional View Big Bang or Damp Squib - An Alternative Cosmology Wikipedia - redshift RELATED POSTS: It's Life Jim But Not As We Know It.
Scientists, those shallow, excitable people so to prone to hyperbole and easily moved to hysteria were last week claiming they had discovered alien life forms in the shape of arsenic eating bacteria in Lake Mono, California. Science and reality are often a long way apart and in the cold light of reason we wonder what the NASA astrobiologist who led the project was getting wound up about.
The Truth Is Not Out There There is no hope of finding alien life in space because conditions on all other planets are too hostile, a leading astronomer has claimed. This goes against recent, almost hysterical claims from research grant phishing astrophysicists who claim the 'photographs of neighbouring galaxies' (in fact CGI images constructed from measurements of radiation coming in from certain parts of outer space) have 'proved' 'the truth is out there' and there could be many planets capable of … String Theory Unravelled We have seen ample evidence of science being turned into a religion in the climate change / global warming debate. There are other areas of scientific study in the academic world where the same religiosity is holding back progress, theoretical physics, nuclear physics and string theory are prominent among them. Quantum Metaphysics or The God Experiments The noise from militant atheists is becoming unbearable as they scream and shout about superstition and magical thinking. So what if science came up with something that turns upside down everything we thought we knew about the nature of the universe. Well it has, twenty years ago. Quantum entanglements, non - separability, oneness, once it enters the public perception we will suddenly have to see ourselves differently. Mathematics and Reality In all of our blogs and web sites the Greenteeth team have been critical of those science fans who are turning science into a religion. Scientists deny this of course even in the face of the evidence. Here Ian R Thorpe shows you that the idea of mathematics as God is nothing new, it has been around longer than Christianity in fact.<P> Science cannot provide all the answers, there is room for faith Why, in these days when the militant atheist supporters of Richard Dawkins and his fellow travellers are so ready to decry and belittle religious faith and claim science has proved God does not exist, do so many eminent scientists still believe in God, including a number who have made carers in science but are very active in their respective churches? Sub Atomic Girl and A New Discovery In Physics A new discovery in physics, the existence of a previously unsuspected sub atomic particle has the world of science and scientists in a tizzy. But are they really onto something big, something that might help unlock the secrets of the universe and reveal the true nature of matter, gravity, protons, antimatter and other stuff. Or are they getting over - excited yet again.